Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed suit after his 2015 firing

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Mayor Kasim Reed and the city, saying he was terminated in 2015 because of his religion.

Attorneys with faith-based nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom are representing Cochran in the suit, filed in a U.S. District Court. They say Cochran's self-authored religious book, which contained controversial passages about homosexuality, cost him his job.

The mayor has repeatedly said Cochran's judgment — and not his faith — is why he was terminated after serving a 30-day suspension without pay.

The lawsuit is a separate legal proceeding from a federal discrimination complaint Cochran filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In addition to the Alliance Defending Freedom, Cochran has received support from organizations including the Georgia Baptist Convention and the  Family Research Council.